Reboot the basic summer hamburger

6/23/2013
BY ALISON LADMAN
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Whether you’re grilling a standard beef burger, a bison patty, a chicken breast, or even a humble portobello mushroom cap, it’s time to move beyond the basic toppings of ketchup and a slice of cheese. Here are eight fresh ways to dress them:

● The Figgy Piggy Blue: Fig jam, crumbled blue cheese, and prosciutto or serrano ham

● The Eggplant Parm: Sliced fresh mozzarella, sliced grilled eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed)

● The Back Woods: Cranberry sauce, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and coarse grain brown mustard

● The Thai: Sliced avocado, spicy peanut sauce (2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, splash of hot sauce), sliced red onion, fresh cilantro

● The New Yorker: Pastrami, caramelized onions, horseradish sauce, Swiss cheese.

● The Mediterranean: Sliced roasted red peppers, olive tapenade, feta cheese, and fresh basil.

● The Indian: Naan (in place of a bun), potato chips sprinkled with curry powder, baby spinach.

● Heuvos Rancheros: Fried egg (with a runny yolk), salsa, Monterey Jack cheese, and crisped bacon or chorizo.

● The Caesar: Toasted garlic bread (in place of a bun), chopped romaine lettuce tossed with Caesar dressing, shaved Parmesan cheese, and anchovies (if you dare)

● The Dragon: Sriracha sauce, pickled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, pepperoni, freshly ground Sichuan peppercorns